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March 26, 2009

Judge refuses to dismiss charge against Barack Obama assassination plotter

Judge refuses to dismiss charge against Barack Obama assassination plotter

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

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A federal judge refused to dismiss a charge against an Arkansas man accused of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama.

Paul Schlesselman, 18, argued the threats against Obama were not a “true threat” under the law because they were made during questioning by law enforcement officials while he was in custody, and he could not have carried them out.

Judge J. Daniel Breen rejected the argument, claiming he could not go beyond the facts outlined in the indictment. “Due to the limited information available to the court, the bulk of the defendant’s argument is unsupported by applicable facts,” Breen wrote in a statement.

A photo of Paul Schlesselman from his MySpace profile.

Schlesselman, of West Helena, and Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee, are accused of plotting to kill dozens of black people during a murder spree that would end with them attempting to assassinate Obama.

Schlesselman has also filed a motion to suppress evidence collected by police; a hearing on that motion is set to go before Breen on April 16. The court has already rejected a motion by Schlesselman and Cowart to dismiss the charges against them because the racial makeup of the grand jury was predominately African American.

The men have been charged with targeting members of a specific race, conspiracy to rob a federal firearms licensee and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.



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  • “Two men arrested in Tennessee for plot to kill Obama and school children” — Wikinews, October 29, 2008

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November 23, 2008

Arkansas judge tells parents to leave Tony Alamo compound to regain custody of seized children

Arkansas judge tells parents to leave Tony Alamo compound to regain custody of seized children

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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An Arkansas judge has told the parents of two teenage girls taken from a religious compound run by Tony Alamo that the children can be returned to their parents if the parents agree to leave the compound and secure financial independence away from the controversial “Tony Alamo Christian Ministries” organization. The two girls, ages 16 and 14, were removed from the compound along with four other girls in a September 20 raid conducted by state, federal law enforcement officials and FBI. Authorities raided the compound while investigating allegations of physical and child sexual abuse.

Tony Alamo in 2008

The controversial evangelist leader of the organization, Tony Alamo, 74, was himself arrested on September 25 in Flagstaff, Arizona on charges of sexually abusing children and allegedly transporting a young girl across state lines in order to commit sexual acts with her – a violation of the Mann Act. He waived extradition from Arizona to Arkansas. Alamo has previously been convicted on charges of tax evasion. He was born as Bernie Hoffmann, and started the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation in 1969 with his wife Susan.

Texas Human Services caseworkers took another 20 children into custody on Tuesday in investigations into properties controlled by the organization in Fouke, Texarkana and Fort Smith, Arkansas. According to Associated Press, nine girls and 11 boys ages 1 to 17 were taken into care of the state Tuesday. The children were given health screenings by the state on Wednesday, and received mental health and education assessments. Department of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell said that the children taken by the state on Tuesday had no signs of poor health, and did not need any pressing medical attention. The children were placed in foster care in Arkansas, and Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson will convene a hearing Monday to determine if these children should stay in foster care.

KTBS reported that three of the boys were taken by the state from the courthouse while they were with their parents attending the hearings on the two girls taken September 20. Circuit Judge Joe Griffin gave the order authorizing seizure of the children by the state, on allegations of physical abuse and neglect. Judge Griffin’s order found that there was probable cause that other children at the Tony Alamo compound properties were at risk of abuse and neglect, and may have already been abused. According to a report Thursday in the Texarkana Gazette, over one hundred children from the Tony Alamo compound that were part of a court order to be taken into state custody may be outside reach of child welfare services and unaccounted for, if they were taken over state lines. Arkansas State Police searched over 12 locations Tuesday, but no children were found at the Fort Smith location.

Cquote1.svg I am not trying to infringe on their religious practices, only the practices that were found to be neglectful or abuse. Cquote2.svg

—Judge Jim Hudson

In a hearing which concluded Friday night, Judge Jim Hudson of Miller County Circuit explained that his ruling was influenced by a recommendation from the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Human Services asserted that girls at the Fouke compound were at risk of sexual abuse, and that beatings were meted out as punishment at the compound. Human Services also alleged that one of the two girls had been a witness to abuse, and that the other was herself subjected to being beaten at the compound. Judge Hudson stated: “It seems from their recommendation that they don’t see a way that the problems with abuse and neglect could be solved within the context of that very tightly knit community.”

“I am not trying to infringe on their religious practices, only the practices that were found to be neglectful or abuse,” said Judge Hudson after the hearing had concluded. Judge Hudson made his ruling after hearing three days of testimony regarding the allegations of child abuse at the Tony Alamo compound.

Cquote1.svg You do not have a constitutional right to subject your children to sexual abuse because it’s in line with your religious beliefs. Cquote2.svg

—Rita Sklar, ACLU

The director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Rita Sklar, stated that she did not have any objections to restrictions on religion, if the welfare of a child was involved. “It doesn’t sound problematic to keep the children away from what seems to be a very dangerous situation. You do not have a constitutional right to subject your children to sexual abuse because it’s in line with your religious beliefs,” said Sklar in a statement in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

The Texarkana Gazette reported that Tony Alamo released a statement from his jail cell regarding the testimony given this week regarding the allegations of abuse made against him. With regard to claims made by the 14-year-old girl who testified in court that Alamo molested her when she was 12-years-old and living at his house, Alamo stated: “She’s a liar right out of the pit of hell.” Alamo went on to state that he was: “being found guilty without a presumption of innocence … I have no say in what’s going on. This is one-sided and I can’t be heard.”

An arrest warrant was issued by Fort Smith police for John Erwin Kolbeck, 49, who allegedly served as an enforcer for Alamo. Kolbeck is accused of beating Alamo’s followers for offenses against him and the organization, and Little Rock FBI spokesman Steve Frazier told the AP that a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was drawn out in the past week for Kolbeck.

Cquote1.svg He said don’t tell anybody what happened here or I’ll have John (Kolbeck) beat you and I’ll take care of you. Cquote2.svg

—14-year-old girl

According to the AP, the 14-year-old girl testified Monday that Alamo placed his hand over her mouth while she was showering, and then touched her inappropriately. He then threatened her by saying the name of his alleged enforcer Kolbeck. “He said don’t tell anybody what happened here or I’ll have John (Kolbeck) beat you and I’ll take care of you. Nobody would’ve believed me, anyway. Everybody thinks he’s a prophet here,” stated the 14-year-old girl in court, reported the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Judge Hudson stated that a review of the case is scheduled for February 14 and subsequently every 90 days thereafter in order to assess if the girls’ parents are in compliance with the Judge’s request. If the parents are seen to be out of compliance, the state may recommend termination of parental rights. Hearings are expected next week with regard to the status of the other four girls that were removed from the compound September 20. Tony Alamo is himself scheduled for trial on February 2.



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  • “Controversial evangelist leader Tony Alamo arrested in child sex investigation” — Wikinews, September 26, 2008

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Wikipedia Learn more about Tony Alamo and Child sexual abuse on Wikipedia.
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October 29, 2008

Two men arrested in Tennessee for plot to kill Obama and school children

Two men arrested in Tennessee for plot to kill Obama and school children

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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The United States federal law enforcement agency, ATF, had two young men in the state of Tennessee arrested by the local Crockett County sheriff’s department on October 22 on unspecified charges.

In court documents published on Monday, it came to light that the men allegedly had discussed committing a school shooting at a predominately African-American school and beheading 14 of them.

Another alleged plot involved the assassination of Presidential candidate Barack Obama. According to affidavits, the suspects’ “final act of violence” would be when they assaulted Obama while wearing white tuxedos and top hats and driving “their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows.”

Photo from Schlesselman’s MySpace page

The two suspects are Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Arkansas and Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee. According to court papers, they met last month over the internet through a mutual friend. Schlesselman and Cowart are alleged to share “very strong views” about White Power.

Schlesselman listed “being racist” as his occupation on his MySpace page. He further wrote: “I’m white. I’m proud. I get angry. I like guns. I like weapons. I need money wiggers … be afraid.”

Cowart also had a MySpace page on which photos of weapons were presented under a heading of “My Guns”. On his page he wrote, “Better to die quick fighting on your feet then [sic] to live forever begging on your knees.”

Some have questioned the pair’s ability to carry out the alleged schemes, but authorities have been very concerned about Obama as the first black presidential nominee from a major party.

“We honestly don’t know if they had the capability or the wherewithal to carry out the kind of plan that they talked about,” said Malcolm Wiley, of the United States Secret Service in an interview with The New York Times. “But we take any threat seriously no matter how big or how small it is.”

Cowart and Schlesselman are scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday. They are being held without bond. No co-conspirators have been found or alleged.



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September 26, 2008

Controversial evangelist leader Tony Alamo arrested in child sex investigation

Controversial evangelist leader Tony Alamo arrested in child sex investigation

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Friday, September 26, 2008

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Controversial evangelist leader Tony Alamo was arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona Thursday and faces charges related to child sex abuse allegations at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry organization. Alamo has previously been convicted on charges of tax evasion. United States federal agents raided Alamo’s compound in Arkansas on Saturday and six girls were taken into state custody.

Tony Alamo in 1986

Law enforcement officials raided Alamo’s compound in Fouke, Arkansas on Saturday and removed six girls aged 10 to 17. Over 100 federal and state agents participated in the raid on the compound, which followed a two-year investigation into Alamo and his organization.

Law enforcement officials were searching for evidence that minors had been videotaped performing sexual activities or had been molested. The Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Alamo’s property for child pornography. Alamo, who claims he is legally blind and wouldn’t be able to see child pornography, preaches that girls should marry young and sex with post-puberty girls is ‘okay’ because “in the Bible it happened”.

Cquote1.svg The state concerns are children living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused. Cquote2.svg

—Tom Browne, Federal Bureau of Investigation

“It’s the transportation of minors with the intent to engage in criminal activity. The state concerns are children living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused,” said Little Rock, Arkansas FBI representative Tom Browne in a statement to KABC-TV.

The Associated Press (AP) has reported that Alamo will likely appear in federal court Friday in Flagstaff, Arizona, on charges that he violated the Mann Act by facilitating transport of minors across state lines for inappropriate sexual conduct. Documents produced by the FBI referred to Alamo by his birth name, Bernie Lazar Hoffman. Alamo has stated that he was born into Judaism but later converted to Christianity. According to the FBI, Alamo’s court appearance Friday is intended to determine when he will be transported from Arizona back to Arkansas to face charges there.

Cquote1.svg Our job right now is to basically take care of them [the six girls in state custody]. Cquote2.svg

—Julie Munsell, Arkansas Department of Human Services representative

Hearings have been scheduled for Friday and Monday by a state judge, to decide if the Department of Human Services of Arkansas can retain custody of the six girls. “We will transport them to and from hearings. We will take part in any future hearings. Our job right now is to basically take care of them,” said agency representative Julie Munsell in a statement reported to the AP. The six girls will be present at the hearings in Arkansas: hearings for two of the girls will take place Friday and hearings for the other four on Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which maintains data on hate groups, has described Alamo’s organization as a “cult”. The Ross Institute Internet Archives for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups and Movements maintains a web page on Tony Alamo and his organization. AP reported that many former members of Alamo’s organization also characterize the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries as a “cult”.

Cquote1.svg I think that congregation in there needs to see what that man is. Cquote2.svg

—Anna Pugh, former member of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries

Anna Pugh, a former member of the organization for 11 years, recounted some of her experiences in what she referred to as “Tony’s Cult” to KOCO-TV. She stated that while she was living at Alamo’s compound she felt she was brainwashed. Pugh says that while she was a member of the group a seven-year-old girl took her aside and told her Alamo had sexual conduct with minors while watching pornography. “I think that congregation in there needs to see what that man is. He is a monster. He is a very unmerciful, malicious, vindictive, judgemental, condemning person,” said Pugh.

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Former member Anthony Lane told KSLA-TV he was kicked out of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries when he questioned some of Alamo’s teachings. “He is definitely a man who arranges marriages of little girls, and orders beatings of little children,” said Lane. He has been getting help from a support group called Partnered against Cult Activities (PACA). Lane is trying to gain custody of his three children who are still in the group with his wife.

Alamo was convicted of tax evasion in 1994, and was released from prison in 1998 after serving four years out of a six year sentence. The Internal Revenue Service said Alamo owed the U.S. government US$7.9 million. Prosecutors in the tax evasion case argued prior to Alamo’s sentencing that he was a flight risk, and a polygamist who conducted inappropriate activities with women and girls in his organization.

The Tony Alamo Christian Ministry organization promotes a philosophy and belief system which asserts sex with underage girls and polygamy is acceptable. The organization is critical of Catholicism, homosexuality, and the government. Tony Alamo Christian Ministry has compounds in Arkansas, California, and New Jersey, and Alamo himself lives near Los Angeles.

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about Tony Alamo and Child sexual abuse on Wikipedia.
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August 13, 2008

Arkansas Democratic party chairman assassinated by gunman

Arkansas Democratic party chairman assassinated by gunman

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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Bill Gwatney, chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, died this afternoon at 3:59 pm CDT (UTC-5) after having been shot earlier this morning.

Bill Gwatney
Image: Democratic Party of Arkansas.

“He [the gunman] came in and went into this office and started shooting,” said police Lt. Terry Hastings, speaking to reporters outside the party headquarters.

The suspect is Tim Johnson, a white male, described by Gwatney’s secretary as wearing “khaki pants, white shirt, silver-gray hair, late 40s.” He reportedly walked into the party headquarters facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, conversed with the Chairman’s secretary, refused her offer of bumper stickers, and then walked past her saying he had to see the Chairman.

After the shooting, Johnson got into his blue Chevrolet pickup truck and led police on a 25-mile chase. The end result was the shooting of the suspect, who was airlifted to a hospital and eventually died of his wounds.

According to The New York Times, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton issued a joint statement saying, “We are stunned and shaken by today’s shooting at the Arkansas Democratic Party where our good friend and fellow Democrat Bill Gwatney was critically wounded … Bill is not only a strong chairman of Arkansas’ Democratic Party, but he is also a cherished friend and confidante.”

Gwatney was also a car dealership owner and former state senator.



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July 2, 2008

Suspect in eight murders arrested in Illinois, United States

Suspect in eight murders arrested in Illinois, United States

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

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Nicholas T. Sheley
Image: Illinois State Police.

Following a manhunt in two states, police have arrested Nicholas Troy Sheley whom authorities suspect in eight murders in the United States. The FBI launched the manhunt on Tuesday after four victims were discovered on June 30, 2008.

Sheley was arrested without incident after being recognized in a bar in Granite City, Illinois. Two regular customers, Gary Range and Samantha Butler, and bartender Jennifer Lloyd recognized Sheley who had entered and ordered a glass of water. Range told the Associated Press that he then found a police officer parked nearby.

“I told [the police officer] the description and the officer said, ‘That’s him.’ He got on the radio and eventually there were police all over the place,” Range said.

According to Sgt. Thomas J. Burek, Illinois State Police, the FBI, and the St. Louis Major Crimes Task Force, Sheley was apprehended without a struggle. He was arrested when he stepped out of the bar to have a cigarette and found himself surrounded.

“He was desperate and he gave up without a fight,” said Tim Lewis, police chief in Festus, Missouri. “He looks rough. He’s had a rough two days.”

Sheley is being held at Madison County Jail in Edwardsville. He appeared before County Judge Edward Ferguson and was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and vehicular hijacking in the case of Ronald Randall. The 65-year old victim was beaten to death in Galesburg, Illinois on Saturday and found on Monday. Sheley is being held on US$1 million bail, which he indicated he would be unable to post.

Sheley’s cousin, Eric Smith, is being held on obstruction of justice charges, while Sheley’s brother, Josh Sheley, is being charged with concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice.

Sheley’s wife and uncle have both told reporters that Sheley, 28, is addicted to drugs and alcohol and prone to violence when under the influence of these substances.

Nicholas Sheley will also be charged with the murder of 93-year old Russell Reed in Sterling, Illinois, said the Whiteside County prosecutor. Medical examiners estimate that Reed was killed on June 23.

On Monday, the bodies of Brock Branson, 29, and Kenneth Ulve Jr., 25, of Rock Falls, Illinois along with Kilynna Blake, 20, and Dayan Blake, 2, of Cedar City, Utah were found. Police say that Sheley knew both Branson and Ulwe. The two were found in an apartment in Rock Falls and are believed to have died late Saturday or early Sunday.

Tom and Jill Estes of Sherwood, Arkansas were found in Festus, Missouri at a Comfort Inn, also on Monday. They were found after another guest at the hotel reported two dogs covered in blood in the parking lot. The couple had been visiting the area for a graduation and family reunion. Although 250 miles (400 km) away, this case was linked after Sheley’s fingerprints were found in Randall’s truck which was abandoned in Festus.

All eight victims succumbed to blunt force trauma.



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May 11, 2008

Tornadoes in central US kill over a dozen people

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NOAA Doppler Radar image of storms after the tornadoes hit.

NOAA Doppler Radar image of storms after the tornadoes hit.

At least 22 people have been killed in late afternoon tornadoes that ripped through the central United States on Saturday May 10 with over 50 reported injured and at least three people are missing. Tornadoes hit towns on the Missouri and Oklahoma borders which caused significant damage. Several watches and warnings for storms and tornadoes remain today. At 4:11 a.m. (eastern time) nearly the entire states of Georgia and Alabama were encompassed with tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings.

In Picher, Oklahoma where the tornado is reported to have started, 7 were killed, including an infant. The tornado then traveled across state lines to Missouri where 14 were killed near Seneca and then into Georgia where on person was killed. Officials state the death toll is likely to climb.

“It’s a bad deal. There are maybe 150 badly damaged homes on south side of town,” said Picher’s town attorney, Erick Johnson. More than two dozen streets in Picher are described as being wiped out. Oklahoma’s governor Brad Henry has ordered the national guard to the area to help in aiding those hit by the storms.

“[Our] thoughts and prayers are with the people of Picher and all of the other Oklahoma communities,” said Henry in a statement to the press, who also plans to visit the areas hardest hit on Sunday.

Ottawa County Oklahoma, where Picher is located.

Ottawa County Oklahoma, where Picher is located.

Buildings have been destroyed and people have been reported to be trapped in debris from tornadoes that touched down. Trees were thrown from yards and cars were overturned. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and in Oklahoma, one tornado left more than 15 miles of destruction with some places seeing a path over a half mile wide. Rescue efforts are hampered by the darkness, making it difficult for rescuers to find people who are trapped.

“It’s hard to do in the dark. They’re going over the hard-hit area and turning over everything and looking,” said Susie Stonner, a spokeswoman for SEMA.

At last count, 34 tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, but reports say that some eyewitness reports were of the same tornadoes. At 02:48 (UTC) Doppler radar for the National Weather Service showed very strong storms in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi.


Sources

  • Murray Evans “22 dead in Mo., Okla., Ga. after new round of storms”. Associated Press, May 11, 2008
  • “19 dead in Missouri, Oklahoma after new round of tornadoes”. WBT, May 11, 2008
  • Associated Press “Tornado in NE Okla kills at least 7 in town of Picher”. KTEN, May 11, 2008
  • “Deadly tornadoes kill 18 along OklahomaMissouri border”. KXMC, May 11, 2008
  • Marcus Kabel “18 dead in Missouri, Oklahoma after new round of tornadoes”. San Jose Mercury News, May 11, 2008
  • “Deadly tornadoes kill 18 along Oklahoma-Missouri border”. KGAN, May 11, 2008
  • “Tornado flattens Oklahoma town”. BBC News Online, May 11, 2008
  • “18 reported dead in Missouri, Oklahoma tornadoes”. Reuters, May 11, 2008
  • “Deadly tornado outbreak strikes”. Disaster News Network, May 10, 2008
  • Andale Gross “At least 11 dead in Central US in new round of tornadoes”. Associated Press, May 10, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Tornadoes in central US kill nearly two dozen people

Tornadoes in central US kill nearly two dozen people

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

NOAA Doppler Radar image of storms after the tornadoes hit.

At least 23 people have been killed in late afternoon in broad daylight, with dark (very dark) clouds tornadoes that ripped through the central United States on Saturday May 10 with over 150 reported injured and at least three people are missing. Tornadoes hit towns on the Missouri and Oklahoma borders which caused significant damage. Several watches and warnings for storms and tornadoes remain today. At 4:11 a.m. (eastern time) on Sunday, nearly the entire states of Georgia and Alabama were encompassed with tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings.

In Picher, Oklahoma where the tornado is reported to have started, 7 were killed, including an infant. The tornado then traveled across state lines to Missouri where 14 were killed near Seneca and then into Georgia where two people were killed. Officials state the death toll is likely to climb.

“It’s a bad deal. There are maybe 150 badly damaged homes on south side of town,” said Picher’s town attorney, Erick Johnson. More than two dozen streets in Picher are described as being wiped out. Oklahoma’s governor Brad Henry has ordered the national guard to the area to help in aiding those hit by the storms.

“[Our] thoughts and prayers are with the people of Picher and all of the other Oklahoma communities,” said Henry in a statement to the press, who also plans to visit the areas hardest hit on Sunday.

Ottawa County Oklahoma, where Picher is located.

Buildings have been destroyed and people have been reported to be trapped in debris from tornadoes that touched down. Trees were thrown from yards and cars were overturned. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and in Oklahoma, one tornado left more than 15 miles of destruction with some places seeing a path over a half mile wide. Rescue efforts are hampered by the darkness, making it difficult for rescuers to find people who are trapped.

“It’s hard to do in the dark. They’re going over the hard-hit area and turning over everything and looking,” said Susie Stonner, a spokeswoman for SEMA.

At last count, 34 tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, but reports say that some eyewitness accounts were of the same tornadoes. At 02:48 (UTC) on Sunday morning, Doppler radar for the National Weather Service showed very strong storms in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Tornado

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Tornadoes in central US kill nearly two dozen people

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NOAA Doppler Radar image of storms after the tornadoes hit.

NOAA Doppler Radar image of storms after the tornadoes hit.

At least 23 people have been killed in late afternoon tornadoes that ripped through the central United States on Saturday May 10 with over 150 reported injured and at least three people are missing. Tornadoes hit towns on the Missouri and Oklahoma borders which caused significant damage. Several watches and warnings for storms and tornadoes remain today. At 4:11 a.m. (eastern time) nearly the entire states of Georgia and Alabama were encompassed with tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings.

In Picher, Oklahoma where the tornado is reported to have started, 7 were killed, including an infant. The tornado then traveled across state lines to Missouri where 14 were killed near Seneca and then into Georgia where two people were killed. Officials state the death toll is likely to climb.

“It’s a bad deal. There are maybe 150 badly damaged homes on south side of town,” said Picher’s town attorney, Erick Johnson. More than two dozen streets in Picher are described as being wiped out. Oklahoma’s governor Brad Henry has ordered the national guard to the area to help in aiding those hit by the storms.

“[Our] thoughts and prayers are with the people of Picher and all of the other Oklahoma communities,” said Henry in a statement to the press, who also plans to visit the areas hardest hit on Sunday.

Ottawa County Oklahoma, where Picher is located.

Ottawa County Oklahoma, where Picher is located.

Buildings have been destroyed and people have been reported to be trapped in debris from tornadoes that touched down. Trees were thrown from yards and cars were overturned. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and in Oklahoma, one tornado left more than 15 miles of destruction with some places seeing a path over a half mile wide. Rescue efforts are hampered by the darkness, making it difficult for rescuers to find people who are trapped.

“It’s hard to do in the dark. They’re going over the hard-hit area and turning over everything and looking,” said Susie Stonner, a spokeswoman for SEMA.

At last count, 34 tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, but reports say that some eyewitness accounts were of the same tornadoes. At 02:48 (UTC) Doppler radar for the National Weather Service showed very strong storms in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi.


Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about Tornado.
  • “23 dead in Mo., Okla., Ga. after new round of storms”. The Benton Crier, May 11, 2008
  • Murray Evans “22 dead in Mo., Okla., Ga. after new round of storms”. Associated Press, May 11, 2008
  • “19 dead in Missouri, Oklahoma after new round of tornadoes”. WBT, May 11, 2008
  • Associated Press “Tornado in NE Okla kills at least 7 in town of Picher”. KTEN, May 11, 2008
  • “Deadly tornadoes kill 18 along OklahomaMissouri border”. KXMC, May 11, 2008
  • Marcus Kabel “18 dead in Missouri, Oklahoma after new round of tornadoes”. San Jose Mercury News, May 11, 2008
  • “Deadly tornadoes kill 18 along Oklahoma-Missouri border”. KGAN, May 11, 2008
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February 6, 2008

Many killed in tornadoes across southern U.S.

Many killed in tornadoes across southern U.S.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

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NOAA storm report for February 5. Red dots indicate locations of Tornadoes

Tornadoes have been reported across the southern United States, with some sources saying as many as 48 have died. The NOAA have reported that several buildings have been damaged in the tornadoes, including a hospital in Arkansas.

At least 69 tornadoes have been reported to have taken place in the last two days, most of which took place on the same day as US citizens were voting in caucuses and primaries on a day known as super Tuesday.

Tennessee

The NOAA has reported that at least 25 tornadoes took place in Tennessee. In Trousdale county there were two fatalities at a home north of the intersection of highways 231 and 25. In Shelby county a roof was blown of an airline hanger at Memphis International Airport. Two homes were also destroyed in Henry county.

In Hardin county there were two fatalities and five injuries as the tornado trapped people in their houses.

NOAA storm report for February 6. Red dots indicate locations of Tornadoes

Arkansas

The NOAA has reported that at least 19 tornadoes took place in Arkansas. In Pope county there were three fatalities, while a hospital was hit in Stone county, causing the emergency room to be closed.

In Madison county seven tractors were blown over by a tornado and in Putnam county mobile homes and barns received significant damage.

Mississippi

Many tornadoes also took place in Mississippi, including two tornadoes in Lafayette county in which many buildings were destroyed, including a church, at least two shops and several houses.

A tornado was also reported in Alcorn county, in which injuries were reported, along with damage to a community center. Other tornadoes were reported although they are not thought to have created any serious damage.

Missouri

NOAA tornado watch 48. Red areas have a high or moderate risk of tornadoes

Three tornadoes were reported in Missouri, although two are currently unconfirmed. The two unconfirmed reports are of tornadoes that took place in Butler county. No injuries, fatalities, or damage to property has been reported in either tornado.

In Pemicot county a report of a tornado was made through police radio. No damage was reported for this incident.

Kentucky

Three tornadoes in Kentucky have caused at least seven fatalities and major destruction to property. A tornado in Muhlenberg county caused damage to several houses, although there are currently no confirmed fatalities from this incident. A different tornado in the county did, however, cause three fatalities and numerous injuries, in addition to severe damage to property.

A tornado in Allen county caused at least four fatalities. Further details on this incident have yet to be released.



Sources

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